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10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby: All the Family Bonding, None of the Hassle

Ah, the fishing trip. A traditional father and son outing that’s as old as the hills. For generations, parents have packed their station wagons full of coolers, poles, life vests, tackle boxes, live worms, and apprehensive children, traced their route to some Godforsaken puddle in the middle of a mountain range, and driven off into the 4:30 a.m. pre-dawn. It’s a rite of passage that’s hard to beat; life lessons abound on the fishing trip. For example, kids learn the joy of living simply when they’re forced to share a tent (an internet-less, TV-less, joyless tent) with their sweaty, snoring father. They learn the inevitable nature of death as they spear helpless worms onto hooks and pull a fish, gasping, out of its comfortable pond. They learn how to cook over an open fire (and how much fun burning things is). And in the end they’re rewarded with that first taste of fresh fish. Lessons can even be learned on the drive home: self restraint is a valuable tool, best taught when plagued by mosquito bites on the unreachable parts of your back. Now, here in 2011, Indianapolis children can have all the fun of fishing without the life lessons. This Saturday, June 4, 2011, the Eagle Creek Park Foundation will be hosting its 10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby in downtown Indianapolis.
Co-sponsored by Wal-Mart, the All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby had its first Indianapolis event in 2002, when they brought 168 Indianapolis children to the banks of the Eagle Creek Park reservoir waterfowl sanctuary to do some fishing. The All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby has only grown since then; on a sunny day last year, the fishing derby attracted over 250 participants, not including the parents and volunteers who made the whole day possible. The All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby has had some problems in past years with inclement weather, but this Saturday looks to be all sunshine. However, if a Central Indiana thunderstorm does rear its ugly head, the All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby will fall back on its rain day, Sunday, June 5, 2011.
The Indiana State Department of Resources has designated the weekend of June 4, 2011 a free fishing day, and for the 10th year in a row, kids in Indy will get to take advantage of it. The 10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby allows Indianapolis children of all ages to participate in a fun day of catch and release fishing. Though you won’t be able to keep any of the finned friends you catch, half the fun of fishing is the thrill of the hunt. There’s nothing like a long battle with a whopper, and now your kids can experience that thrill; plus, they should now be able to tell some true fish tales of their own. But the Fishing Derby doesn’t just throw you a pole and send you on your way. There will be food from Indianapolis restaurants to sate hungry fisher people, and there will be free demonstrations on fishing techniques so you can bag that mountable bass you’ve always wanted (mountable on your Facebook profile, at least; you’ll have to throw it back in the water). Kids can also participate in prizes and contests.
If you want the nature loving fun of fishing without the endurance trial of camping and travel, enroll your kid in the 10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby at Eagle Creek Park on Saturday, June 4, 2011. Registration is open to all Indianapolis children ages 4 to 14, but you must pre-register to be able to attend the event. You can register at the Eagle Creek Park Office, at the sporting goods department of any Circle City area Wal-Mart, or in several other Indianapolis businesses. Registration is absolutely free! Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, but a limited number of rods and reels will be available at the Indianapolis park. Bait will be provided, so you don’t need to worry about lugging around that massive tackle box (or you could make your child carry it for some added character building). The 10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby runs from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 4, 2011. But remember: fish are early risers, so the earlier you arrive the better. Attend the 10th Annual All American Kids’ Fishing Derby to experience the family bonding you’ve always wanted: station wagon and life lessons optional.

10th Annual All-American Kids’ Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 4, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE with pre-registration
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Eagle Creek Park

7840 W 56th St
Indianapolis, IN 46254
317.327.7110
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